Vietnamese farmers unite in the Top End

The Vietnamese community in the Top End of the Northern Territory has established its own horticultural association. It’s already got 30 members and aims to represent around 100 Vietnamese farming families.

Spokesman for the NT Vietnamese Horticultural Association (NTVHA), Thanh Thai, says Vietnamese farmers now have a united voice to tackle issues effecting their businesses.

“A lot of Vietnamese farmers don’t speak English very well… (and) one of our big issues is negotiating better prices and (sourcing) labour,” she said.

President of the NTVHA, David Dinh, says Vietnamese farmers have spent a lot of time and hard work transforming bushland into prosperous plantations and farms around the Top End.

He says Vietnamese growers have significantly increased the Territory’s production of tropical fruits, Lebanese cucumbers and Asian vegetables.

Mr Dinh wants the association to help Vietnamese growers with whatever they need; whether it’s sharing technical experience, increasing access to markets or supporting farmers during difficult times.

“If any farmers’ family have a problem, are sick, or there’s a funeral, we can help, because it’s very important for our culture.

Chief Executive of the NT Farmers Association, Grant Fenton, has described the formation of the Vietnamese Horticultural Association as a historic moment.

“It’s fantastic,” he says. “It’s taken a long time, but we’re finally got a focal point for Vietnamese growers here in the Northern territory and we’re very excited about it.”

Last year Vietnamese growers in the Top End produced around one million trays of mangoes and $10 million worth of Asian vegetables.

Source ABC News